Stephanie Beacham

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Stephanie Beacham
Stephanie Beacham.jpg
Stephanie Beacham (2009)
Born(1947-02-28) 28 February 1947 (age 67)
Barnet, Hertfordshire, England
OccupationActress
Years active1967–present
Spouse(s)John McEnery (m. 1973–79)[1]
Children2
 
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Stephanie Beacham
Stephanie Beacham.jpg
Stephanie Beacham (2009)
Born(1947-02-28) 28 February 1947 (age 67)
Barnet, Hertfordshire, England
OccupationActress
Years active1967–present
Spouse(s)John McEnery (m. 1973–79)[1]
Children2

Stephanie Beacham (born 28 February 1947) is an English television, radio, film and theatre actress. After first appearing on British television during the late 1960s, she began appearing in films in 1970, most prominently in 1971's The Nightcomers opposite Marlon Brando. She became well-known on British television in the BBC series Tenko (1981–82) and the ITV series Connie (1985), before going on to play Sable Colby in the US television series The Colbys (1985–87) and in the final season of Dynasty (1988–89). In the 2000s, she had high-profile roles as Phyllida Oswyn in Bad Girls (2003-06) and as Martha Fraser in Coronation Street (2009).

Early life[edit]

Beacham, one of four children, was born in Barnet, Hertfordshire, England,[2] the daughter of Joan, a housewife, and a father who was an insurance executive and the managing director of the Grosvenor estate.[3] She attended a Catholic girls' school (although she was not brought up as a Catholic) and later travelled to Boulogne-Billancourt in Paris, France to study mime with Étienne Decroux, before attending Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London.[4]

Career[edit]

Her initial goal was to teach dance movement to deaf children, but she began a career in modelling and then began acting in television. Her first screen role was in the BBC series The Queen's Traitor in 1967, in which she played Mary, Queen of Scots. During an interview, thinking Barnet sounded uninteresting, she told a reporter from the Northern Echo she was born in Casablanca, where her favourite Bogart/Bergman film was set.[2]

After many further guest appearances in television series such as The Saint, Callan, and UFO, Beacham's first film roles were in The Games directed by Michael Winner, and Tam Lin directed by Roddy McDowall, both released in 1970. She would work with Winner again in 1971's The Nightcomers, in which she starred opposite Marlon Brando. Beacham appeared nude in one scene, during the filming of which Brando wore Y-fronts and wellington boots under the bed clothes to ensure Winner did not film anything lower than was necessary.[5] Horror would be a genre that Beacham appeared often in during this period, and she was subsequently cast as Jessica Van Helsing in Hammer's Dracula A.D. 1972 alongside Peter Cushing.

Beacham continued to appear in film, television and on stage. Her next role was as a repertory player with the Nottingham Playhouse, where she played several lead and feature roles, including the role of Nora in the Henrik Ibsen play A Doll's House. In 1973, she played Georgina Layton in Thames Television's daytime drama Marked Personal. The same year, she made an Italian film, Si può essere più bastardi dell'ispettore Cliff? The film was released in the US in 1977 as Mafia Junction and in the UK as Blue Movie Blackmail. It was later released on home video, now retitled as Super Bitch as the producers of the film attempted to capitalise on the success of the Joan Collins film The Bitch. Beacham also continued to work in horror films, including And Now the Screaming Starts (1973), House of Mortal Sin (1974), Schizo (1976) and Inseminoid (1981) – a film she admits taking for the fee.[6]

From 1981–82, Beacham featured as a member of the ensemble cast of the BBC series Tenko, about a group of women prisoners of war held captive by the Japanese after their invasion of Singapore in 1942. Following this, she continued working in theatre and television before landing the lead role in the 13-part ITV drama series Connie (1985). Her roles in Tenko and Connie helped to springboard her into one of her most well-remembered roles, that of the devious matriarch Sable Colby on the television series The Colbys (1985–87). The Colbys was a spin-off of the opulent prime-time soap Dynasty which had been the highest rating programme in the USA that year. Beacham was cast opposite Charlton Heston as the tent-pole couple of the new show. The Colbys never experienced the success of its parent show and was cancelled after two seasons, though in 1988, Beacham was invited to reprise the role of Sable on Dynasty, playing opposite Joan Collins in a season-long "battle of the bitches" scenario.[1]

After Dynasty was cancelled in 1989, Beacham landed the lead role in the children's fantasy film The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, playing an evil governess. She was then cast in the US sitcom Sister Kate, taking the lead role as a nun taking care of children in an orphanage. The series lasted for one season and was cancelled in 1990, though she earned a Golden Globe nomination for the role. She then returned to Britain to play Mrs. Peacock in an ITV game show version of the board game Cluedo (1990). Reuniting with Dynasty producer Aaron Spelling, Beacham also had a recurring guest role in the popular teen drama Beverly Hills, 90210, playing Iris McKay, the estranged mother of Luke Perry's character Dylan. Beacham eventually appeared in six different television series produced by Spelling, including Dynasty, The Colbys, The Love Boat, Beverly Hills, 90210, Burke's Law, and Charmed. In 1993, Beacham signed on to play Dr. Kristin Westphalen in the NBC science fiction series seaQuest DSV, produced by Steven Spielberg. Her character was the chief oceanographer and medical doctor for the submarine seaQuest, however Beacham left the programme after its first series. Throughout the 1990s, she continued to make guest appearances on television programmes, working in both the UK and the US. In 1996, she starred in the BBC drama No Bananas which was set during the war years.

In 2003, Beacham returned to the UK to take a role in the ITV prison drama Bad Girls. She played inmate Phyllida "Phyl" Oswyn for four years, partnered with Beverly "Bev" Tull (played by Amanda Barrie) as the "Costa Cons", first appearing in series five, until the final series in 2006. She also appeared in the 2006 movie Love and Other Disasters. She returned to stage work and toured the UK in 2007 as a lead in the Noël Coward play Hay Fever. Later that year, she competed in the 2007 series of the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing with professional partner Vincent Simone, though she was eliminated early in the competition (the second of fourteen celebrities) on 14 October 2007.

On 27 November 2008, it was announced that Beacham had joined the cast of ITV's Coronation Street portraying Martha Fraser, a love interest for Ken Barlow (played by William Roache).[7][8] She made her first appearance on 26 January 2009 and her last on 4 May 2009.

On 17 February 2010, Beacham appeared in the final episode of the BBC series Material Girl. On 3 April 2010, she made a guest appearance in the long-running BBC hospital drama series Casualty.[9]

In October 2011, Beacham released her autobiography Many Lives in which she discusses her life and career. The book includes a foreword written by her Coronation Street co-star William Roache.[10]

In 2012, Beacham reunited with her Dynasty co-star Joan Collins in a UK television advert for Snickers, however the ad was later re-edited and Beacham's appearance cut. She also appeared as store manager Lorraine Chain in Sky1's supermarket-based sitcom Trollied for eight episodes between August 2012 and October 2012. The same year, she also appeared in three episodes of Sky Living's Mount Pleasant as Aunty Pam.

In January 2013, Beacham was a guest on ITV's daytime chat show Loose Women to promote her appearance on the first episode of the second series of Death in Paradise which aired on 8 January 2013.

In recent years, Beacham has appeared in Christmas pantomime. In 2006, she played the Wicked Witch in a production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves in Guildford. She appeared there again the following year in a production of Jack and the Beanstalk.[11]

On 3 January 2010, Beacham entered Channel 4's seventh and final series of Celebrity Big Brother as a housemate; she was the only female to make it to the final and finished in 5th place on 29 January 2010.

Beacham was involved in launching the Sense-National Deafblind and Rubella Association Fill in the Gaps campaign[12] which aims to give the elderly the support they need to maintain a good quality of life. She also attended the Parliamentary launch of the campaign in June 2006.

Personal life[edit]

Beacham married actor John McEnery in 1973 though the couple divorced in 1979.[1] They have two daughters, Phoebe and Chloe.[2]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

YearTitleRole
1970The GamesAngela Simmonds
1970The Devil's WidowJanet Ainsley
1971The NightcomersMiss Jessel
1972Dracula A.D. 1972Jessica Van Helsing
1972The Aries Computer
1973Mafia JunctionJoanne
1973And Now the Screaming Starts!Catherine Fengriffen
1976The ConfessionalVanessa Welch
1976SchizoBeth
1981Horror PlanetKate
1989Troop Beverly HillsVicki Sprantz
1989The Wolves of Willoughby ChaseLetitia Slighcarp
1990Harry and HarrietChristine Petersen
1996Wedding Bell BluesTanya's Mother
2000Relative ValuesElizabeth
2002Unconditional LoveHarriet Fox-Smith
2002Would I Lie to You?Amaelia
2006Seven Days of GraceDana
2006Love and Other DisastersFelicity Riggs-Wentworth
2006The Witches HammerMadeline
2007Plot 7Emma Osterman
2015Wild OatsTammy

Television[edit]

Television
YearTitleRoleNotes
1967Out of Town TheatreThe Girl1 episode "The Picnic"
1967The Queen's TraitorMary Queen of ScotsTV Movie
1968ITV PlayhouseLisa Wendle1 episode "Bon Voyage"
1968The SaintPenny1 episode "Legacy for the Saint"
1968The Jazz AgeCharlotte Tonn1 episode "Black Exchange"
1969Armchair TheatreLinda1 episode "On Vacation"
1969Public EyeShirley Marlowe1 episode "My Life's My Own"
1969The Distracted PreacherLizzy NewberryTV Movie
1970CallanBeth Lampton1episode "God Help Your Friends"
1970Sentimental EducationRosanette1 episode "The Philanderer"
1970UFOSarah Bosanquet1 episode "Destruction"
1971–1972ITV Sunday Night TheatreJenny Draper/Anna Trenton2 episodes
1972Jason KingCora Simpson1 episode "Chapter One: The Company I Keep"
1972Man at the TopPaula Fraser2 episodes
1973The AdventurerContessa Maria1 episode "Icons Are Forever"
1973The ProtectorsChrissie1 episode "Your Witness"
1973Special BranchSue Arden1 episode "Threat"
1973Jane EyreBlanche Ingram1 episode "Part 3"
1973Ego HouseAdèle HugoTV Movie
1973–1974Marked PersonalGeorgina Layton62 episodes
1975Whodunnit?Helen Brent1 episode "Too Many Cooks"
1975Prometheus: The Life of BalzacFanny LovellTV Mini-series
1976HadleighSusan Debray1 episode "Film Story"
1976Forget Me NotJeanne Teliot1 episode "Rich"
1978RainbowSpecial Guest Narrator1 episode "Wild Animals"
1979I vecchi e i giovaniNicoletta4 episodes
1981–1982TenkoRose Millar19 episodes
1984Sorrell and SonFlorence Palfrey1 episode
1984Hammer House of Mystery and SuspenseRosemary Richardson1 episode "A Distant Scream"
1985ConnieConnie13 episodes
1985–1987The ColbysSable Scott Colby49 episodes
1985; 1988-1987DynastySable Colby22 episodes
1986The Love BoatElaine Riskin1 episode "The Shipshape Cruise"
1987Napoleon and Josephine: A Love StoryTherese Tallien3 episodes
1988French and SaundersDoreena Petherbridge1 episode
1989–1990Sister KateSister Katherine 'Kate' Lambert19 episodes
1990CluedoMrs. Peacock6 episodes
1990Lucky/ChancesSusan Martino SantangeloTV Mini-series
1990The Lilac BusJudyTV Movie
1991; 1993–1994Beverly Hills, 90210Iris McKay8 episodes
1992SecretsSabina QuarlesTV Movie
1992To Be The BestArabellaTV Movie
1993Star Trek: The Next GenerationCountess Barthalomew1 episode "Ship in a Bottle"
1993Foreign AffairsRosemary RadleyTV Movie
1993RidersMolly CarterTV Movie
1993BlossomMrs. Robinson1 episode "Hunger"
1993–1994seaQuest DSVDr. Kristin Westphalen23 episodes
1994Burke's LawVictoria Lancer1 episode "Who Killed Skippy's Master?"
1994A Change of PlaceMarieTV Movie
1995LegendVera Slaughter1 episode "Birth of a Legend"
1995High SocietyStella, the acting coach1 episode "We Ought to Be in Pictures"
1996No BananasDorothea Grant10 episodes
2000CharmedMartha van Lewen1 episode "Reckless Abandon"
2002Having It OffVernice Green1 episode "Perms of Endearment"
2003–2006Bad GirlsPhyllida Oswyn40 episodes
2006New TricksRhoda Wishaw1 episode "Wicca Work"
2007Strictly Come DancingHerselfVoted out on 2nd week
2009Free AgentsWendy1 episode
2009Coronation StreetMartha Fraser21 episodes
2010Celebrity Big BrotherHerselfLeft in 5th place in the final
2010Material GirlSylvie Montrose1 episode
2010CasualtyMonica Shapiro1 episode "Love of a Good Man"
2012Mount PleasantAunty Pam3 episodes
2012TrolliedLorraine8 episodes
2013Death in ParadiseNicole Seymour1 episode
2014BoomersMaureenMain role

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearAwardNominated workCategoryResult
1986Soap Opera Digest AwardThe ColbysOutstanding Villainess on a Prime Time SerialNominated
1988Soap Opera Digest AwardThe ColbysOutstanding Villainess: Prime TimeNominated
1990Soap Opera Digest AwardDynastyOutstanding Lead Actress: Prime TimeNominated
1990Golden Globe AwardSister KateBest Actress – Television Series Musical or ComedyNominated

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Gilbert, Gerard (1 September 2012). "Stephanie Beacham: 'I had to give up toy boys'". The Independent (London). Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Barber, Richard (28 January 2007). "Moroccan dynasty". The Times (London). Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  3. ^ Stephanie Beacham Film Reference biography
  4. ^ Stephanie Beacham – Official Website (Bio)
  5. ^ The One Show, BBC One – 15 July 2009
  6. ^ McLean, Gareth (18 June 2003). "Living in the pink". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  7. ^ "Stephanie Beacham exclusive on her journey from The Colbys to the Coronation Street cobbles". Sunday Mirror. 25 January 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  8. ^ "Stephanie Beacham joins Corrie". Digital Spy. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  9. ^ Tim Oglethorpe. "Celebrity Big Brother star Stephanie Beacham comes a cropper in her guest role in Casualty". 
  10. ^ Beacham, Stephanie (2011). Many Lives, An Autobiography. London, UK: Hay House. ISBN 978-1848505957. 
  11. ^ Stephanie Beacham panto
  12. ^ Fill in the Gaps: supporting older people with hearing and sight loss

External links[edit]